Sunday, August 31, 2014


13 x 8.5 in./
33 x 22 cm.
transparent watercolor on Winsor/Newton rag paper
$214.00 plus $20.00  shipping
I know I had mentioned that I painted this for a friend with whom I work. But when talking with her about a week ago, she said she would much rather I sell it, as she realizes I need the money. So here we are ... offering this beauty for sale.
If you have any questions, or a burning desire to have this painting, please leave me a note.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

A Horsey Commission ... or ... a Work in Progress

I was recently asked by a woman in Washington if I could do a horse/rider painting as a gift.  This is my drawing ...

I have also done a color work-up, so I won't run into trouble later in the painting. 

The painting is larger than I have been doing lately - 16 x 21 inches.
Here, I've masked out a thick outline of the horse and rider, and done several background washes of quin. burnt orange, quin. violet and indanthrone. 

The background is largely completed, so I've removed the masking, and started applying thin glazes of quin. violet and indanthrone to indicate the shadows. From the photos, the horse appears to have a violet tint overall to his grey coat.

I think the shadows are done, and will now start working with the local colors.

I managed to get a lot done today. No riding - I feel so sorry for Bruno ... this past week he's had one injection in the neck to tranquilize him for dental work, a huge wasp sting in the neck the next day, an anti-viral injection two days after that [in the neck], and this morning he had bites all over that same area of his neck! All I can do is ice his neck and apply witch hazel. He seems to like both those treatments.

Thank you so much for dropping by!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Works-in-Progress - Sunflowers, and Bruno's Dental Appointment ... a Very Mixed Bag!

First gradated washes on this painting - aureolin and quin. burnt orange ...

... followed by many more gradated washes of quin. burnt orange mixed with phthalo green [blue shade]. For some reason [a different paper, an unusual paint mixture?] I had some trouble getting the really smooth washes I like. I finally resorted to spraying the paper with water, not applying water with brush, and then applying the pigment very gently.

This is an earlier stage of the painting. You can see some of the streakiness here, as well as the faint imprint of  a leatherjacket bug. NO BUGS WERE HARMED IN THE MAKING OF THIS PAINTING!!! I gently coaxed it off, and took it outside. My work area is a small alcove in my bedroom, and as I almost always have the window open at this time of year, the bugs are everywhere in the painting area. 

This is the other sunflower painting. I am at this point right now - working on the flower, and soon, the leaves.
The background is primarily a mixture of quin. burnt orange, quin. violet and indanthrone. The flower is aureolin, with shadows of quin. sienna and cobalt blue.

Here we are waiting for the vet. Looks like he just arrived, judging from Bruno's ears cocked back to listen.

My vet used much less tranquillizer this time. I was really impressed with Bruno's behaviour. You can see in this and the photo below, his eyes are completely calm. If anything, he is concerned only that I get his good side in the photo!!!

It looks a bit like bondage or something, but the halters and braces holding his head steady are comfortable, almost loose. And of course, the metal bracket in Bruno's mouth keeps his jaws apart, and the soft tissues of the oral cavity out of harm's way, so the vet can readily access the molars at the back. Just some odd info - horses have six molars in each quadrant of the mouth; we humans have two in each quadrant [or three, if you have wisdom teeth]. 

I took these next few shots today, after I rode the lad.
He is quietly enjoying some hay, while the "garden gnomes" and I are out in the field area watering the vegetable garden, and doing a few other chores.

Here's Scruffy, with her partially-done home hair-cut. I work on her bit by bit, as she is not a patient girl.

And here's Maggie, looking for excitement. She is turning out to be such a bright and loving dog.

So that's life for now, on our little rented piece of Heaven.
Thank you for dropping by!

Friday, August 15, 2014

A Lot of This and a Fair Amount of That, Too

Two of my "quickie" posters taped to the back of the food truck ...

... and more on the side ...

Part of the area set aside for the horse trials - the dressage phase and the stadium jumping are held down here, while the cross-country phase is held in the higher, slightly hilly area beyond.

I fell in love with a handsome young dude by the name of Viking. I believe he is a Hanoverian/Westphalen cross. Lovely temperament, though I learned he can buck like nobody's business, when I had a chat with the proud owner.

This is one of the trails for horses and walkers. Campbell Valley Park is a huge equestrian park, miles and miles of well-maintained trails -  beautiful, and enjoyable all year round. It's to the park I almost always go when I take the girls out for a walk.

And we have a 2nd batch of baby nesters. I think they look almost ready to fly ... probably this weekend. I see them quite often now, perching at the edge of the nest.

Here comes a parent to the rescue with food!

After riding Bruno this morning [and he was a righteous dude - YAY],  I drove over to the other side of the park at the end of my street. They were holding horse trials - a 3-day event. Today was dressage, tomorrow is the cross-country phase, and Sunday is the stadium jumping. One of my sister's friends [she of all the rescued animals] was helping her friend with her food truck. Cindy owns Suburban Spoon. In the winter she has a catering business, and in the summer she has the food truck which she takes to various events around the lower mainland - in and around Vancouver and the Fraser Valley. Cindy gave me permission to put up several posters, advertising my animal portraits. So I visited a while, then wandered around the fields, caught up with a few old friends that I hadn't seen for a while. I don't show any more, so I am completely out of the horsey loop. All in all, it was a pleasant time this afternoon, and I'll be going back tomorrow to watch some of the cross-country.

Thank you for dropping by! Your comments are always welcome.  

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

... I'm Ready for My Close-up ... or ... the Portrait Is Done, and a Color Study Is in Progress ...

31.5 x 21.5 cm.
A lot of dry-brushing of thin glazes has gone on, and some are so thin even I have trouble seeing them. But I think they have given a beautiful, soft glow to her gentle coloring. When I started this portrait, I had thought to put in a background of various soft greens, suggestive of leaves,  to act as complement to her coloring. But at this point, considering the softness of color and the tightness of the format, I know it is much better as is. This was not a commission, but the parents did ask to see the portrait when I finished. Hopefully, they like it enough to purchase it.

29 x 22 cm.
This one is a study for a commission. When finished, it will be a bit taller and much wider. The reference photo was taken in a covered riding ring. The background in the photo was quite nebulous, and I have chosen to make it even more so. The background will meld into the ground [the footing of the arena], and will be darkest on the far right. Again, I am using my favorite triad of quin. burnt orange, quin. violet and indanthrone blue. I like the color scheme, and the horse/rider image; my only qualm so far is the overall composition, but I'll see how it goes.

Thank you so much for visiting!
Your comments are always welcome.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Short and Sweet - Just the Way We Like It!

My, he is one HANDSOME lad! Nice bum!!!

He has such a gentle and attentive look in his eye here.

I like this shot - shows how I am able to keep the inside rein [in this case, right] looser here - means he is listening nicely.

And this is the time everybody LOVES. Goodies and treats and pats all round.

I had a most pleasant surprise this morning. Just as I was grooming Bruno, my sister, Stephanie arrived. She has a delivery box in the States, just minutes away from here. She had driven down earlier to pick up all the watercolor paper I had ordered, and then came for a visit. She offered to take some photos of the lad and I riding, so ... here we are. :)

Thank you for dropping by! Your comments are always welcome.

Monday, August 4, 2014

"... if only you could see what I've seen ..." [Bladerunner]

I am here

I am posting all 3 recent shots  to allow you, hopefully,  to get an idea of the actual colors.  it's frustrating - not only are the thin glazes impossible to pick up on camera, but also the lighting makes getting a realistic photo very hard. That is what inspires the quote - I wish you could see the painting as I do. I think she still needs more depth around the eyes and mouth, and I am undecided whether to put just a hint of her t-shirt [pink, of course] in the painting. I had originally thought to put a soft, light background of yellows and greens, suggestive of leaves, but that would alter the entire color balance of the painting. I realize it sounds like I am obsessing a bit here, but I am out of paper - waiting for a shipment from the States. So I don't have any other painting to work on.

Thank you for dropping by! Your comments are always welcome.